Athlete Class of 1968
A coach once stated, “Joe LaRocca is the most complete and competitive ballplayer I have ever seen.” Joe certainly lived up to that statement throughout his athletic career. At Gibbons Joe was a three sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball. In all three sports, he received seven varsity letters, All County, All Diocese, and All State recognition. He was the South Atlantic Conference baseball Player of the Year and led Broward county in batting average his senior year. Joe was a top student here at Gibbons and he was the recipient of the Bank Atlantic Broward County Student/Athlete Award.
Joe received numerous offers from various colleges, but followed his dream and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he was a “walk-on” for the Fighting Irish baseball team, playing all four years. He was selected “captain” his senior year. He led the team in batting average that year. Joe’s name appears on Notre Dame’s “Wall of Fame” for his accomplishments, and he is still recognized each year in their media guide.
After graduation, Joe was drafted and played for the Texas Rangers. Joe was moving up in the organization when he was drafted again, but this time by the United State Army, where he served our country in the war in Vietnam. Joe resides in Ft. Lauderdale with his wife, Lydia, and their two sons, Joe (’98) and Nick (’01), also Gibbons alumni and athletes.